Whether you're doing well financially or your property is facing challenges, there's always room for improvement and optimization. How about considering new and better tech tools, strengthening your presence on social media or refining your pricing strategy? Just a few ideas to get you thinking. With so much to do, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start and which hospitality market trends to follow.
To help you out, here's a list of 24 goals you can set and work towards in the hospitality industry.
1. Uplevel Your Guest Experience
Providing an unforgettable, high quality experience is your hotel’s primary goal. It’s the key to winning repeat business, getting guests to recommend you to friends and family and earning the positive reviews that will keep converting lookers into bookers. This last point is especially powerful. Research found that just a 10% improvement in your TripAdvisor rating can result in a 9-15% increase in booking volume.
Over the years, many services and interactions have shifted online in our daily lives. Hospitality and travel should be no exception, as travelers now expect digital touchpoints during their guest journey. Start with a mobile-responsive website. Then, offer digital communication options like live chat, email, and direct messages for easy interaction throughout the guest journey. Consider implementing mobile check-in and check-out for added flexibility. According to Statista, 62% of travelers prefer hotels that offer these options. Enabling guests to make requests and share feedback digitally takes it a step further. Luckily, creating this digital guest journey is easy with modern hotel tech solutions.
3. Invest in a Guest Management System
Guest data is one of your most valuable assets because it opens the door to more personalized, relevant communication and marketing. A guest management system saves relevant data in one place and makes it easy to access for future use. It also enables you to manage all guest interactions throughout the guest journey on a single platform. That way you never miss a thing and can respond quickly to requests, feedback and complaints. As a result, travelers will be happier with their stay and there’s a higher chance that they’ll recommend you or return themselves.
4. Personalize Your Guest Communication
Generic messages don’t cut it anymore. According to research by McKinsey, 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions while 76% feel frustrated when this doesn’t happen. That means it’s high time to personalize your guest communication. Use guest data to ask the right questions, offer relevant deals and services and show that you can cater to each traveler’s individual needs. And if you’re feeling creative, experiment with AI-powered messaging to help streamline your communication.
5. Step Up Your Email Marketing
Email is the most effective outreach, digital marketing and sales tool today. It’s the best way to get right in front of your target audience and share your latest updates with them. As with other forms of digital communication, personalization is key. Instead of sending mass email blasts to all subscribers, segment your list and send tailored messages. That way people only get updates and offers they’re interested in. Consequently, they’ll be more likely to open and read your emails, which increases your chance of driving direct bookings.
6. Get Creative with Upselling
Upselling is a fantastic way to drive ancillary revenue and boost your topline. You have two options for it. Either you can train your marketing team to upsell guests on arrival at the front desk or use an automated tool. Both work, but tech-driven upselling saves everyone time and it’s more effective. It enables guests to explore your upsells at their convenience and buy whenever they’re ready. You also get the chance to tailor your offers to each guest, which can increase your conversion rates.
7. Drive More Ancillary Revenue
As a hotel, room sales likely make up the biggest part of your revenue. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote your other departments and services as well. This can both improve your guest’s experience and help you generate even more ancillary revenue.
Offer creative activities at your property to provide guests with a well-rounded experience, not just a hotel stay. Try thinking beyond standard options like a spa day. Consider hosting classes or workshops and collaborating with local partners to widen your offering. Consider everything from pastry-making and painting to yoga retreats, pottery or foraging in the local area. Options like these make your property more interesting and give people more reasons to book with you.
9. Develop a Direct Booking Strategy
Direct bookings are the most profitable source of business because you don’t pay commissions on them. So why not work on getting more people to book directly? For that, you can offer better rates on your website, focus on social media platforms for marketing, implement a live website chat or use traditional advertising. Ideally, you’ll choose a combination of tactics to reach your audience at various stages of the research and booking phase. Get started by brainstorming what you want to do and plan out your next steps to actively drive direct bookings.
10. Improve Your Online Reputation
Getting great online reviews is a proven way to get more people to book with you. Two things are critical for that to work. First, you need to offer a fantastic guest experience that people want to tell others about. Next, encourage them to do just that! Send guests a short follow-up after their stay, requesting their feedback.
Websites are never done. There’s always a chance to optimize or refresh them to boost your conversion rates. The most important thing is to make it as easy as possible for people to use. That includes writing straightforward yet evocative texts, using beautiful images, keeping your navigation simple, adding short form videos and integrating a fast booking engine. Together, these points show the wonderful custom experience you offer and they make it quick and easy for people to book directly with you.
12. Revisit Your SEO Strategy
Once your website is optimized, it’s time to drive more traffic with strong search engine optimization (SEO). A lot of SEO advice sounds technical and complicated but getting the basics right is actually quite easy. First, work on critical aspects like your page loading speed. That will keep people from immediately leaving your site because it’s too sluggish. Then explore which keywords can help your site rank higher in the results pages and attract more clicks. For more actionable tips, check out our comprehensive article on SEO for hotels.
13. Streamline Workflows with AI
Today many powerful new AI tools such as generative AI can support you in various areas. For example, AI-powered marketing solutions can help you quickly develop targeted campaigns. They can even speed up the process of content creation such as ads, social media captions and blog post ideas.
But that’s not all. Revenue management tools also leverage AI and machine learning to make rate and strategy recommendations. And even modern guest communication tools can use AI to personalize content to automate guest interactions. All that can save your team time and improve your results. So, why not give one of them a try?
When used right, social media is a powerful way to reach and connect with your target market. It may be tempting to measure your success in terms of follower numbers and likes. But these metrics aren’t the best indicators of your achievements.
Today, it’s much more about your reach and engagement levels. This describes how many people interact with your content and get inspired to book your offers. The best way to achieve that is to regularly share engaging posts to draw in your audience. Then you’ll be at the front of their mind when they plan their next trip.
15. Track and Optimize the Right Hotel KPIs
You’re probably already tracking traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) like revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate (ADR) and your occupancy. They tell you a lot about how your property is doing and where you have potential for improvement.
If you want to step up your game, look at more specialized metrics as well. Popular new figures to monitor include gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR), total revenue per available room (TRevPAR) and revenue per available seating hour (RevPASH - specifically for restaurants and bars). They support a deeper profitability analysis and help you better understand nuances in your business.
16. Elevate Your Cybersecurity Game
Most high-profile hotel management companies have had some form of a cybersecurity scandal in recent years. Just think of Marriott’s massive data breach in 2014 where data from over 300 million guests was compromised. Only recently they were fined $23.8 million for this. Hilton along with IHG and Radisson have also had to report data breaches and deal with the fallout—huge fines and tarnished reputations.
Protect your property and your guests with strong cybersecurity to avoid creating similar headlines. Yes, it’s highly technical and probably not your idea of a fun pastime. So instead of getting frustrated and missing important details, hire a reliable outside partner to help with the set-up and staff training. Canary’s guide on cybersecurity in hospitality will take you through the process.
Imagine being able to process contracts without having to print, sign, scan and email them back and forth. That’s exactly what digital contracts let you do. They make everything from creating and reviewing to editing and signing documents faster, easier and safer for your clients and staff. On top of that, they comply with data protection regulations and ensure all your information is kept safe.
19. Revamp Your Hotel Tech Stack
With so many great tools available today it can be hard to choose which ones to implement. But even though it can feel daunting, it’s worth keeping an eye on the hotel tech space and exploring your options. Tools like modern front desk software can save you time, improve the guest experience and help you generate extra revenue.
If you’re looking to touch up your tech stack, decide which departments you need new tools for first. Research what’s out there, check features, benefits and ratings from other hoteliers. Once you have a shortlist, ask for free trials or demos from providers. This will give you a feel for each tool and help you pick the right one for you.
20. Streamline Hotel Operations
Are you one of the many hotels impacted by the staffing shortage? Then it’s time to look for new ways to streamline operations. The best way to do that is to leverage tech solutions that automate repetitive manual tasks. Take online check-in and check-out as an example. Offering a digital alternative saves time for your team and gives guests more flexibility. This allows you to offer better, faster overall service even with a smaller team. On top of that, it leaves your employees with more time for meaningful interaction and service.
21. Understand and Optimize Operating Expenses
If one of your current business goals is to increase profitability, then you must understand your costs and expenses. Go through your various departments to explore current cost drivers. What do you really need? Are there more cost-effective solutions? Work with your team to eliminate unnecessary expenses and find ways to invest your money more wisely.
22. Invest in Staff Training
Speaking of investments, one of the best areas to invest is in training your team. Encourage managers and shift leaders to regularly schedule training sessions before and after shifts to refresh service standards or share important updates. But don’t stop there.
Organize half- or full-day workshops periodically for team members to deepen their knowledge in their department. Perhaps even consider funding off-site seminars if they teach valuable skills. This improves your team’s performance and shows that you value your employees and want them to succeed.
23. Reduce Turnover by Boosting Employee Satisfaction
Keeping your team members on board is especially important in times of never-ending staff shortages. So give them a reason to stay. On top of training and professional development, think of other ways to improve working conditions, provide incentives for top performers or increase pay. You can do that via higher wages or by implementing digital tipping.
Sustainability will only gain importance in the foreseeable future, so keep looking for new ways to make your hotel greener. If you’re already implementing sustainability measures, tell your guests about them. Travelers today expect hotels to do their part. Knowing that your hotel takes this topic seriously can make more people want to book with you. Apart from strengthening your reputation, investing in sustainability can also pay off in terms of reduced costs, e.g. by saving water, gas and electricity.
We could go on and on with ideas for how to make your hotel even more successful. But with these 24 points, you already have quite a to-do list.
In any case, we hope this will inspire you to take action, move your property forward and achieve or perhaps even beat your projections.
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